Apparel: Concepts and Practical Applications

7x7 460pp 32pp full-color insert paperback Instructor's Guide available Power Point available 978-1-56367-481-5

Preface xi

UNIT 1 >> FOUNDATIONS OF APPAREL >> 1 Chapter 1: Historical Costume 2 Chapter 2: Social and Psychological Foundations of Apparel 32

UNIT 2 >> THE CREATIVE PROCESSES AND DESIGN >> 93 Chapter 3: Creative Processes 94 Chapter 4: Designers 120

UNIT 3 >> APPAREL FACTORS >> 145 Chapter 5: Styles and Trends 146 Chapter 6: Fabrics and Findings 179 Chapter 7: The Manufacturing Process 226 Chapter 8: Industry Standards and Quality Attributes 250 Chapter 9: Shoes and Handbags 276


UNIT 4 >> COORDINATION AND MARKETING >> 295 Chapter 10: Creating a Coordinated Image: Corporate and Personal Strategies 296 Chapter 11: Marketing Apparel Products 328

UNIT 5 >> DECISION MAKING >> 361 Chapter 12: Personal Choices 362 Chapter 13: Organizational Decisions: Retail Choices 390

Glossary 431 References 447 Credits 459 Index 461



Extended Contents
Preface xi Chapter 2: Social and Psychological Foundations of Apparel 32 UNIT 1: FOUNDATIONS OF APPAREL 1 Sociological Foundations: External Influences on Apparel Consumption 35 Psychological Foundations: Internal Influences on Apparel Consumption 66

Chapter 1: Historical Costume 2 Egyptian Costume 3 Grecian Costume 4 Roman Costume 7 The Middle Ages 8 The Renaissance and the Sixteenth Century 12 Elizabethan Era 12 The Baroque Period 14 Eighteenth Century—The French Influence 17 Nineteenth Century 18 The Twentieth Century 22


Chapter 3: Creative Processes 94 Developing Designs 95 What Inspires Design? 96 Developing a Theme 108 Sourcing 113 Sketches and First Drafts 114 The Final Word 118


Chapter 4: Designers 120 The Pioneers 121 The Classics 128 Modern American Icons 134 European Innovators 136 Oriental Inspirations 139 A Final Note 142

Chapter 7: The Manufacturing Process 226 Evaluation 228 Design 232 Sourcing 234 Costing 235 Pre-Production 238 Production 243 Distribution 245

UNIT 3: APPAREL FACTORS Chapter 5: Styles and Trends 146 Elements Relating to Style 149 Elements of Design 150 Principles of Design 159 Personal Apparel Selection 164


Promotion and Sales 246

Chapter 8: Industry Standards and Quality Attributes 250 Sizing 251 Categories of Sizes 255 Regulations on Apparel Labeling 259

Chapter 6: Fabrics and Findings 179 Fibers 179 Sources of Fibers 182 Man-Made Fibers 192 Yarns 202 Methods of Fabrication 202 Dyeing, Printing, and Finishes 210 Findings 217

Quality Attributes 267

Chapter 9: Shoes and Handbags 276 History of the Shoe 277 Anatomy of a Shoe 281 Handbags 288 History of the Handbag 288




Chapter 13: Organizational Decisions: Retail Choices 390 Consumer and Market Research 393 Financial Planning 405 Merchandise Planning 407 Vendor or Source Selection 413 Product Selection 418

Chapter 10: Creating a Coordinated Image: Corporate and Personal Strategies 296 Corporate Image 299 Personal Image 321

Chapter 11: Marketing Apparel Products 328 Marketing Strategies 331 Consumer Behavior 341 Market Aggregation and Market Segmentation 342 The Global Apparel Market 345 Technology: Influences on Marketing 350

Performance Evaluation 424 Contrasts in Personal and Organizational Buyer Behaviors 426

Glossary 431 References 447 Credits 459 Index 461



Chapter 12: Personal Choices 362 Problem Recognition 368 Search and Evaluation 372 Outlet Selection and Purchase 379 Post-Purchase Evaluation and Disposition 386



Changes in the past three decades have profoundly affected the field of retailing. The wealth of data now available through the computer, advances in technology for designing and producing apparel, global markets, and the changing face of management in retail organizations provide only a few examples. Consumers have become more discerning with regard to the quality of the apparel they purchase and while price is no longer the sole determining factor for a purchase, quality remains high on the list. Thirty years ago, the majority of formally educated retail buyers and managers were required to take courses in textiles, apparel design, apparel history, consumer behavior, and clothing construction. That requirement is no longer the norm as those courses vie for curriculum space with other contemporary subjects. Hence, apparel retailers and manufacturers may find themselves with merchants who have very little knowledge of how apparel is designed and produced. Knowledge of apparel, however, continues to play a major role in the execution of apparel buying functions. Given the variety of ways in which merchandise is designed and produced for today’s dynamic world market, it is essential for merchants to develop and maintain a solid foundation of current apparel knowledge. Technological advances and societal changes fuel the need for up-todate information and understanding among merchandising and management executives in the retailing industry. While detailed, specialized manufacturing specifications are not required and


are not included in this text, a broadly based understanding of design, manufacturing, and marketing processes is needed. Apparel: Concepts and Practical Applications is designed to fill that need by examining the many components involved in becoming knowledgeable about apparel. This text is divided into five units beginning with Unit I, Foundations of Apparel, which provides a broad overview of the evolution of apparel and summarizes the sociological and psychological foundations that influence consumer demand. Unit II, The Creative Processes and Design, focuses on multiple aspects of the creative process as well as on introducing the student to the world of haute couture by using brief summaries of selected fashion designers. Unit III is titled Apparel Factors and allows the student to understand design by examining design principles. This unit also introduces the student to the world of textiles and the importance that they play in apparel development. The manufacturing process from conception and design to assembly of garments is a fundamental part of this unit. Industry standards for sizing, labeling, and quality control are also discussed. Then, the origin of footwear and handbags is explored and the role these play in the apparel industry is investigated. Unit IV is titled Coordination and Marketing. This unit can be used as practical application for the preceding units in that it provides tools to assist the student in selecting apparel either for personal use or resale. The fundamentals of apparel marketing are introduced and allow the student to think strategically about influencing consumer trends. Unit V, Decision Making, focuses on the decision-making processes used by individual consumers and by buyers and merchants in selecting apparel for the various companies in the retailing industry. Throughout each unit, the material is enhanced with illustrations as well as key terms and concepts.



The authors have deliberately geared the presentation of the subject matter to be of direct value to both undergraduate students and seasoned merchants and merchandising executives who may require guidance in selecting and evaluating quality apparel. Even advanced merchants in apparel businesses of all sizes will find that a study of this text will enable them to increase their understanding of the broad foundations of apparel without having to devote an entire semester of study on specific topics such as history of fashion and textiles. The mission of this text is to provide a broad conceptual and practical perspective of apparel including the production processes and consumer marketing involved while making it an enjoyable learning experience. As a basis for the preparation of future as well as current professionals in all segments of the apparel industry, its goal is to assist textile and apparel students to better understand garment manufacturing and the complex decision-making involved in producing apparel to meet the needs of the target customer.

Acknowledgments From Beverly: With thanks to the many friends and family members who have encouraged me during this journey. A special thanks to my beloved mother-aunt, Ima Jean Tigner, who has been my biggest cheerleader; and to friends, Mazella Boulden, George Holloway, Justine Richardson, Deborah Perkins, and Linda Burnett; and to my wonderful sons, Greg and Michael. I must give special thanks to my Lord and Savior, Jesus, who guided me and sustained me, physically, financially, and spiritually throughout the writing of this book.

From Barbara: Students, first, have been the inspiration for investing the energy needed to write this book. Thank you for sharing your lives and expectations with me through the years. Second,



I express appreciation to my colleagues, especially those at the University of Houston, with whom for more than 20 years I have shared friendship and camaraderie in creating academic programs and tools to meet student needs. Among those colleagues I extend special recognition to my current department chair, Carole Goodson, for her support of me as I teach and write from my temporary assignment in Australia. Finally, most gratefully, I express appreciation to my husband, Quentin, and youngest daughter, Juliana, for their contributions to my ability to complete this project. Quentin, for more than 35 years, has recognized and supported my need to learn and serve as an academic. Juliana, now 14, contributes to my love of apparel by reminding me daily of the fun and excitement of shopping and wearing apparel fashions.

Together we acknowledge the contributions of the editors and staff at Fairchild Books. Michelle Levy, Development Editor for her diligence and editorial support; Jennifer Crane, Senior Development Editor; Jessica Rozler, Associate Production Editor; Erin Fitzsimmons, Associate Art Director; Adam Bohannon, Art Director; and Olga Kontzias, Executive Editor, for her generous attention and guidance throughout this project.



creative processes
OBJECTIVES >> Understand the various sources of inspiration for designing apparel. >> Identify the steps involved in the creative process. >> Describe the methods involved in illustrating designs for creating a line of clothing.


f all the steps involved in producing apparel, the creative process is perhaps the most

exciting and complicated. This step involves developing concepts for a line of garments

with ideas gleaned from historical, political, economical and cultural events, to name a few. Sources of inspiration often overlap. The objective of this chapter is to explain, in some detail, just what is involved in developing apparel designs. There are several steps that will be covered in this chapter. They are line development, researching fabric and findings, creating first drafts by various methods, and assembling slopers or test garments.

Developing Designs Before we go into detail about the processes, it is important to note that there are two separate routes to developing designs. The first and most widely known is simply designers and design houses creating apparel for the ready-to-wear industry or through haute couture. These garments bear the designer’s name or label and are easily recognized. The other route is where mass merchants such as Wal-Mart, The Limited, Talbot’s, and other large-scale retailers have in-house product development departments where designers work for the company to create


apparel suited for their target customers. Sometimes, these designers are well-known, such as Isaac Mizrahi for Target, or they might be newcomers to the industry. In large companies that sell apparel under their own in-house label, a product development team works with individual buyers to develop silhouettes, colors, fabrications, seasonality and timing of delivery. The steps involved in the creative process will be examined in the following order: 1. Ideas for inspiration >> historical >> economical >> social >> cultural >> political 2. Developing a Theme >> focus of entire line or groups of garments >> influence of society 3. Developing the Garment >> source fabric >> formal sketches and first drafts 4. Making the Pattern 5. Constructing Production Samples >> Edit the line

What Inspires Design? Designers choose the colors, silhouettes, and fabrics of their collections. What inspires a designer? The entire world. Designers attend art galleries, read and listen to the media, go to



movies, travel, study history, and observe what people are wearing. All of these things provide inspiration. Although there are many examples to support the premise that fashion is influenced by movie stars and famous personalities, we will examine two of these. Personalities and media events have great influence on fashion trends and supply tons of inspiration for designers. An example is First Lady Jackie Kennedy. She was considered an icon of fashion and because she was constantly being shown on television and in the newspapers, whatever she wore was quickly copied by the women of America. Her style was considered modern, yet classic. Because of her fame, designers who created garments for her were also thrown into the limelight. Retailers and designers scrambled to sell garments that copied her style. More recent examples of celebrity influence on fashion are pop stars Russell Simmons with Kimora Lee-Simmons. Russell Simmons, a pioneer of hip-hop music, made baggy jeans, loose oversized shirts, and Adidas tennis shoes popular as he wore these in the earlier days of performing. He went on to develop a line of apparel called Phat Farm. Kimora Lee-Simmons, previously married to Russell Simmons, now offers a line of clothing for women called Baby Phat, which sells upbeat, trendy, colorful garments that cater to teens and college-age consumers. CREATIVE PROCESSES
figure 3.1 Jackie Kennedy was a style trend-setter while First Lady and remains a classic fashion icon today.


The Arts Cultural events can influence designers. These influences include theatre, film, television, art exhibits, and music. An example of art influencing fashion is that of Yves Saint Laurent’s (YSL) designs that mirrored costumes from the movie, Dr. Zhivago in the late seventies. He also gave a nod to abstract artists such as Mondrian and Picasso in his lines. YSL became known for his Mondrian dress. He was influenced by the art of Matisse, Mondrian, Andy Warhol, and Tom Wesselman (Breward, 2003). Films are a unique way of introducing fashion forms to the public. Some films introduce unforgettable icons in the fashion timeline. Designers are continually influenced by movies. For example, we see examples of Grecianand Roman-inspired evening gowns on the catwalks and on the Red Carpet. Some examples of possible influential movies might be Troy or 300. The influence of the movie and television industry on fashion can be seen in the costumes worn and trend being translated into runway garments by designers. There is also evidence that the specific clothing designed for the stars heavily influence what is found in ready-to-wear collections. An example might be Sex and the City, where the fashions and shoes worn by the stars of this show became a very popular trend. Clothing in movies like The Devil Wears Prada showcases designs by Prada, Marc Jacobs, and Chanel.

Technology Technology is a source of inspiration for designers. During the late sixties, the space program was prominent in the media as well as the advent of science fiction movies which fueled the consumer for styling that mirrored futuristic textiles and silhouettes. New technology provided



figure 3.2 YSL’s Mondrian dress is an example of the influence of fine art on fashion.

figure 3.3 New fibers as a result of technological advances, such as Halston’s ultrasuede garments

fabrics for astronaut’s space suits as well as textiles used inside the space ships. These events served as inspiration for designers such as Andre Courreges, who designed around this theme. Advances in textile technology also inspire designers. A popular example of influence on design was the development of ultra-suede, a multi-component, non-woven fabric that is composed of polyester fibers embedded in a layer of polyurethane foam. The surface appears and feels like suede and the fabric can be dry-cleaned or machine washed. This fabric, in its introductory stage, was considered a status symbol and was very expensive. Many designers used this new textile. Halston is perhaps one of the most well-known for his ultra-suede garments. Other examples are the 1960s double- knit revolution where manufacturers were able to inexpensively produce varieties of polyester double-knit fabrics that were washable. The fabric was very popular and suitable for simple, straight silhouettes. Garments made in this fabric were seen in menswear, as well as women’s apparel. When asked how he created his clothes, Yves Saint Laurent replied: “I put my ideas down on paper, which are turned into samples and, if necessary, are revised by me.” (Seeling, 2000).

History Using history as a resource gives the designer countless ideas. From the ancient Egyptians to the Colonial Americans, designers will pull out isolated parts of the costumes worn during certain times such as the translucent, pleated garments worn by the Egyptians or the ornate sleeves that adorned Elizabethan gowns. At other times, many different silhouettes will be utilized and modernized by the designer to create a cohesive theme for a season’s line.



Historical influences can be seen on the runway today, in Grecian-inspired gowns and garments that mimic the design lines of Madeleine Vionnet.

Economy The world’s economy can have a great influence on designers’ lines. A surplus or deficit in natural fibers such as cotton, linen, or silk can affect the kind of fabrics available for use. Exchange rates can also determine the cost of materials which directly affects the selling price of the garment. The years during World War II (1942–1945) had great impact on women’s clothing and the array that designers presented for purchase. Ensembles were more functional than beautiful with skirts cut closer to the body and shorter in length because of low availability of fabrics (Cassin-Scott, 1994). Another economic force influencing designers has come about because of the global sourcing of production. Depending on the country in which production is taking place, certain designs might be restricted or limited based on fabric, findings, or the labor involved. This directly impacts what garments are produced for sale to consumers.

Society Societal influences are broad and can be subtle. People usually dress alike in order to be affiliated with a certain group whether it is an income bracket, church organization, fraternity, or club. The designer’s challenge is to be aware of the social norms and create garments that are adaptable to the rules of current styles. The rap music culture had great impact on fashions during the mid-1980s. Trends were short-lived and seemed to disappear as quickly as they came. An example can be seen in this picture of Run DMC, with striped training pants and tennis shoes.



figure 3.4a Historical inspiration from Grecian dress by Max Mara

figure 3.4b Historical inspiration from a Vionnet dress by Zac Posen

figure 3.5 Run DMC’s influence on fashion: the all-black Adidas track suit

Many elements of society serve as inspiration for designers. Some examples of societal influences are: The prevalence of casual dressing, especially in the workplace; women who are more independent in their thinking and are not so easily swayed by what the fashion designers offer; cult movements such as the hippie era. The Hippie movement was characterized by loose-fitting garments, open macramé vests, beads, sandals or bare feet, and a general disheveled look. This look sought to oppose high fashion garments as a show of resistance to society in general and to the norms and values of the 1960s of extravagance and wealth.

figure 3.6 The Hippie look characterized by long hair, wild flowers, and beads

Culture Designers must be sensitive to the shifts of interests of their target markets. It is essential to be aware of what is happening globally, locally, and within the arena of the designers’ sphere of influence. Research, planning, and inspiration are key to pulling these elements together. In order to be on top of this influence, trends must be tracked closely by reviewing demographics and psychographics. These elements do not work in isolation but overlap each other. Let’s look at an example of cultural elements. Influences from exotic cultures have been a recurring theme in many designers’ lines for years. Shapes, motifs, colors, and lines from many parts of the world are incorporated into couture lines. In Figure 3.7, we see two examples of how YSL showed collections inspired by different cultures. In Figure 3.7a, a Bombara dress is shown from his Africaine Collection of 1967. In Figure 3.7b, a Russian influence makes this garment colorful and rustic from his 1976/77 Winter Russian Collection (Seeling, 2000).

figure 3.7a YSL’s Bombara dress, Africaine collection, 1967 figure 3.7b YSL’s 1976–77 Winter Russian collection

Politics This element can sometimes have a far-reaching impact on a designer’s clothing line. Current political events can affect everything from the length of hemlines to the colors of garments. Examples can be seen in mini skirts worn during the Vietnam War and camouflage prints. It has been proposed that during years of American presidential elections, patriotism is more widely displayed in some designer’s lines with the use of national colors—red, white, and blue. There is probably not enough evidence to support this, but political forces do influence designers with respect to trade laws and policies in this increasingly diverse global market. During years when the United States engages in war, olive drab green, military looks, and camouflage prints seem to be more prominent in designs. It is important to note that designers use multiple and overlapping elements to conceive their clothing designs and ultimately determine the direction of fashion with surprising innovations that react to current events. Consumers react negatively or positively to the options that they are given. Both consumer and designer determine the course of fashion.
figure 3.8 Political influences allow for the popularity of camouflage in mainstream fashion.

Developing a Theme A theme is determined by the designer and gives cohesiveness to the line. Often, designers have multiple themes within one line. An example of this is a spring line with themes such as flowers, the color green, or trapeze silhouettes. Decisions for themes are guided by the designer’s sources of inspiration. The styling of garments within a theme has some commonality, such as color, fabric, trims, or silhouettes. As designers assemble pictures, clippings, sketches, and color fabric swatches, themes come together in this creative process. Here is an example from Marc Jacobs’ spring/summer 2003 collection where he showed a line with a 1950s theme with feminine dresses and pencil straight skirts. In yet another of Jacobs’ collections, fall/winter 2005, his collection displayed a theme of embellishments along with trapeze line coats. At the development stage, the designer decides what body type he or she is designing for and how the garments will look on real people. Other factors that guide development include: 1. Season 2. Color 3. Fabric 4. Target Market 5. End Use

Season Usually, designers will focus on spring or fall seasons. Still others include a resort line which comes out during the late winter time period. The season being designed for obviously affects the type of fabrications used, colors, textures, and silhouettes.



figure 3.9a Marc Jacobs Spring 2003 collection

figure 3.9b Marc Jacobs Fall 2005 collection

figure 3.10 Yohji Yamamoto is known for his black designs. figure 3.11 Valentino’s signature color may be red, but in 1968 he created an all-white collection.

Color Many elements are considered when deciding on color. Sometimes, color will determine the theme and at other times, the theme will dictate the colors used in the line. Research has shown that color is the single most important factor that appeals to customers in the process of shopping. So, the colors used in a line may be critical to the success of the line. An example of a statement being made with color can be seen in the collections of Yohji Yamamoto whose signature color of black triggered a revolution in the fashion world during the 1980s when bright colors for apparel were the norm. Valentino is also known for his signature use of color. In 1968, he presented a “white” collection. This collection marked a high point in his career. Because of the attention given to him as a result of this collection, he was asked to design the wedding dress for Jackie Kennedy when she married Aristotle Onassis. Valentino is well known for his consistent use of red in his evening wear. It has become his trademark. Color choices are influenced by culture, the arts, the environment, and certainly seasonality. Professionals in the fashion industry spend a great amount of time analyzing color cycles and predicting colors for upcoming seasons. Designers make use of this information by hiring firms like the Color Marketing Group, the Color Association of the United States, the Color Box, Colorplay, Huepoint, and others, who supply them with much-needed color forecasts. Another color service, Pantone, Inc., has a system of colors (Textile Color System) of 1,700 colors that are coded with six-digit numbers. These color cards are provided to clients who include designers as well as major companies that have in-house product development departments such as Gap and Wal-Mart. The colors adapted for a specific season then become the standard by which all of the apparel for a specific group of merchandise is measured.



Fabric According to Sue Jones, in her book entitled Fashion Design, “Fabric is to the fashion designer what paint is to the artist: the medium of creative expression. Some designers work directly with the fabric, others might draw out ideas on paper and then search for an appropriate material. Choosing suitable fabrics is the key to successful designing. It is not only a matter of what one likes visually but also weight and handle, price, availability, performance, quality and timing. The suitability of a fabric for a fashion design comes from a combination of yarn, construction, weight, texture, color, handling and pattern or print, as well as additional performance factors such as warmth, stain-resistance and ease of care. The designer must have a reasonable expectation as to how a fabric will behave; a fabric cannot be forced into a style or shape that is not compatible with characteristics, both practically and visually.” Sometimes, the fabric determines the design rather than the other way around. Fabrications that have sold well in the past are often repeated in designers’ lines in newer, updated colors. An example would be using wool gabardine suiting, which is a basic fabric. The designer would simply change the colors used in the forward line. Another consideration for the right fabric is the level of skill needed to execute the garment. If the fabric is difficult to work with and requires a high level of skill, this also affects the production cost of the garment. Beautiful fabric does not always look great once it is sewn into a garment. Complementary fabric must also be found to complete the designers’ concept for the line. This affords the designer the opportunity to develop as many combinations of designs as possible around the desired theme. Once this step is complete, the designer is able to weed out the weaker designs and focus on those most likely to sell.



Target Market Of course, the designer must always be mindful of the target market when developing a theme. For example, polyester gabardine (very popular in the late 60s) would not be the fabric of choice for a current consumer who buys moderate to higher priced apparel. Target markets are usually determined by age, income level, lifestyle, gender, and size. These areas certainly overlap in terms of who the consumer will be. The question to be answered is: Who am I designing for?

End Use The end use of the line of garments is always the primary concern. Is it casual, workplace, professional, or evening wear? Sometimes, designers might start at this end of the process because of restrictions related to the intended price points, or a specific target market that dictates certain styling. An example might be a designer for Liz Claiborne, where garments are priced within a certain range. The designer has to adhere to these constraints in developing garments which might affect the type of fabric used, the trims, or the kinds of silhouettes. Each of these factors overlap and is not isolated in influencing the designers theme.

Sourcing Sourcing refers to the process of selecting raw materials or components and also choosing contractors to produce the garments. In this context, we refer to sourcing as locating a purchase source. This has become increasingly challenging for designers as they are purchasing goods from all over the world. Another term often used is outsourcing, which refers to the process of selecting and using a company to produce garments created by a designer. This can be a complex step in the design process.



Globalization has become a fact of life in the textiles and apparel industry and designers have a more difficult time when confronting the broad array of sources and countries from which to choose for the whole production of their designs. Countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and India have experienced high growth in the textile industries in the last 10 years. The questions facing designers are: Where will they locate the fabric, buttons, and findings to produce the line? Will it be domestic or imported? Is there enough fabric available? How much does it cost to do any special dyeing or texturizing? Key questions and issues surrounding sourcing will be explored further in a later chapter.

Sketches and First Drafts The designer documents his or her ideas in sketches and first drafts. The media used can be as simple as pen and paper, photography, pages from magazines, and other sources that have the potential for developing the theme.

Some of the more traditional methods are: >> keeping a sketchbook where ideas are drawn as they come >> tear sheets—pictures from books, magazines, or newspapers >> creating mood boards—a collection of images and ideas from research to formalize the theme concept >> developing a storyboard—includes a mood board and final sketches with fabric swatches and even trim and findings that enable the viewer to understand the theme. >> CAD (computer-aided design) drawings – helps designers speed the sketching process.



At this point in the process, the designer has fully developed the theme, feels comfortable with the design sketches, and has acquired the fabrics and materials to support the theme.

figure 3.12 AutoCad sketches of garments

The next step is to start creating patterns and slopers for the garments. Patternmakers analyze the sketches and develop pattern pieces that are laid out on fabrics, cut, and sewn together to create a first garment. There are several methods to developing a pattern. >> Drafting >> Flat pattern design >> Draping

Drafting is a method that creates a pattern by using the body measurements of a typical target customer. Computer-aided design (CAD) is now commonly used to speed this process. Flat pattern design is a precision-based drawing that requires accurate measurements and proportions. This method is used for garments that follow the contours of the body without complicated lines. Flat patterns are developed from a set of basic pattern blocks as well as from CAD programs that are able to plot the measurements that are entered. Draping is a method that involves fitting a muslin (toile) on a mannequin or on a real body. When the shape and fit are exactly what the designer envisions, the toile is removed and copied to pattern paper.

Muslin/Toile After a pattern has been cut for the design, it has to be tested by making a garment in muslin, calico, or a fabric of similar weight and behavior to the final fabric. This is done in order to visualize any deficiencies in the design lines or fitting problems. The first fabric sample is called a toile (a French word for a lightweight cotton). In the U.S., the first garment is called a muslin (Jones, 2002). At this point, any needed alterations or adjustments in the design can be made easily because it is fitted on a mannequin or person. Only the designer and workroom staff actu-



figure 3.13 Garment being draped on a mannequin and model

ally see this step. Critical decisions are made as the designer reviews each toile closely and compares each one to see if it fits with the theme of the entire group. It is at this stage that design lines are changed and some garments are actually eliminated. Usually the pattern cutter, sample maker, seamstress, and designer collaborate on the toile with the designer making the final decision. When the pattern has been finalized, it is marked with seam allowances, darts, grain lines and any other marks that will facilitate the construction of the garment.

Construction of Production Samples At this point, the designer reviews each garment and determines if it fits within the theme of the line. Several events can cause a garment to be deleted from the line, such as high cost of fabrics and findings which won’t allow the garment to fit into the price structure of the line, bad design lines, or bad fit, design lines that don’t work with the fabric, or simply a change of mind by the designer. This editing process takes place several times until the line is finalized and presented on the runway. The finished apparel lines are shown to the public in different venues determined by the target market and designer. Couture and ready-to-wear collections are usually shown twice a year for spring and fall seasons.

The Final Word The design process can take anywhere from six to eight months, but not longer, because designers are expected to present a finished line each season. Each step has to be organized and move fairly quickly. The customer ultimately holds the key to the success of the line. Success is reached when a number of orders are actually put into production for sale to the customer. Companies may aspire to launch products that will become a mainstay in fashion society, or they may project short-term success with a trendy award-winner. Today’s consumers, maneuvering



through a saturated market, rely on much more than branding and name recognition in their selection of apparel. Designers are challenged to show an understanding of culture, economics, lifestyles, and global mobility in every step in their creative processes.

Key Terms Drafting Draping Muslin Outsourcing Sourcing

Ideas for Discussion and Application 1. How have movies influenced fashion? Cite three films you believe influenced fashion and write about the ways in which this is evident to you. 2. How do you think war impacts fashion? 3. What is the primary difference between ready-to-wear and couture? 4. To what extent do the steps in the creative process overlap? Explain and support your explanation with examples. 5. What recent political events have had the most impact on today’s current fashion trends? 6. State three changes in fashion that have occurred in your lifetime. 7. Cite two examples of ethnic influences in today’s fashion trends.

Activities 1. Research a current designer’s collection and write about what may have inspired the collection. Use at least three of the various concepts discussed in this chapter. 2. Design a garment using the lines and design elements found in the historical source. Use historical costume books, magazines, and Internet sources for inspiration. Write the catalog or advertising text that would sell this garment. CREATIVE PROCESSES


is created by edges, openings, seams,

Carmen Marc Valvo 2008

darts, pleats, fabrics, and trims

carry the eye up and down

Etro 2008

carry the eye across the body

create eye movement

Herve Leger 2008 (opposite) Kishimoto 2008 (left) and Louis Vuitton 2008 (right)

yield a relaxed, soft, and often graceful air to garments

Dior 2007

Balenciaga 2008

is the outline of a garment shape or form

can provide the basic silhouette of garments
Alexander McQueen 2007

is the sensation around when the eye is stimulated by light waves

Alexander McQueen 2002

can be used as subject

Valentino’s red dresses 1963 – 2008

matter, concentration, or designer trademark

color schemes use a single hue

Michael Kors 2007

(opposite) Nina Ricci 2007

Alexander McQueen 2008

color schemes use colors that are adjacent on the color wheel

Jonathan Saunders 2007

Pucci 2008

color schemes can stretch across an entire collection

color schemes use colors that are opposite on the color wheel

Dior 2005

(opposite) Louis Vuitton 2008 (left) and Proenza Schouler 2008 (right)

colors recede, decreasing apparent size

(opposite) Calvin Klein 2007 and 2008

refers to the physical or visual surface quality of an item

(opposite) Nina Ricci 2008

Zac Posen 2008

design balances differences on either side of an imaginary center line with equal visual weight

Versace 2008


is visually the most important element

can be used to create visual illusions

(opposite) Ralph Lauren 2007

Balenciaga 2007

is important in apparel selections; hair, makeup,

Chanel 2006

and jewelry should interplay with style choices

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